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Brief address to the 13th International Congress of Cybernetics and Systems (July, 2005)
Brief address to the 13th International Congress of Cybernetics and Systems (July, 2005) 
Professor J. Rose, Honorary Director and Founder of WOSC.
I would like to welcome the participants of the 13th Congress in Maribor and I hope it will be a success. Professor Vallée, the WOSC President, has asked me to address the Congress; I am gratefu1 to him for the invitation to deliver (though not in person) a brief address that may be of some interest.
While cogitating about the contents of the address, I could not help thinking about the very first congress in 1969, held in London, which attracted a large body of cyberneticians and system scientists, including such luminaries as Stafford Beer, W. Ross Ashby, Gordon Pask, W. Grey Walter, etc. in-addition to several scientists of repute from 24 countries. The event was supported by many international bodies, including UNESCO, ILO, etc. The proceedings of the Congress were published in three volumes, entitled Progress of Cybernetics, containing over 200 papers arranged in the following groups: main papers (by Beer, Pask, Walter, George, Boulanger, Ross Ashby, Masturzo and Glushkov); the Meaning of Cybernetics, Neuro-and biocybernetics, Cybernetics and industry (automation), Social and economic consequences (including management); Cybernetics and artifacts; Cybernetics and natural sciences; and cybernetics and social sciences … a vast array of sciences and technologies presented by experts of repute. In fact, the Congress marked a milestone in the history of cybernetics and systems. The aim of the event was to establish cybernetics as an interdisciplinary science on solid foundations without spurious accretions, to exchange up-to-date information, and to develop a more efficient liaison between various scientists on an international scale.
The highlight of the Congress was the official banquet under the patronage of the Lord Mayor of London at the Guildhall. This glittering event was attended by several hundred leaders of industry and science, the main addresses being delivered by Marshall McLuhan, Stafford Beer and Ross Ashby.
In fact, the Congress was held on the 21st forma1 birthday of cybernetics founded by Norbert Wiener. As a result of a post-congress world-wide enquiry and discussions at the Congress itself, it was decided to establish an international body, the World Organisation of Cybernetics and Systems, comprising representatives of relevant bodies in 36 countries, the first Chairman of Council being W. Ross Ashby, Vice-Chairman Stafford Beer (and myself as Director-General).
I am sorry to take up so much time with a detailed description of events leading to the establishment of the WOSC and the organisation of subsequent 12 congresses in various cities of Europe, Asia and the Americas. It is hoped that the 14th Congress will be held in 2008, to follow the illustrious tradition of triennial events and further the tremendous work began in 1969.
I think it is of interest to note that another important result of the first congress was the inauguration and publication of the International Journal of Cybernetics and Systems, Kybernetes, a reputable and outstanding journal, under the Editorship of the Professor B.H. Rudall, who is also the Director (and founder of the Norbert Wiener Institute).
Finally, may I thank the President of the WOSC, Professor Robert Vallée, for his encouragement to write this short note and for his valiant efforts to advance the cause of the WOSC and its activities. I very much regret I was unable to attend the Congress because of old age and ill health. I hope you will all enjoy the occasion and lay the foundations for the 14th Congress in 2008.